Samsung and Harman established the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a $300 million fund focused on developing innovations for next-generation, smart, connected vehicles. The fund builds on earlier investments in auto-related startups and technologies.
In addition to the fund, HARMAN, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit (SBU). The new HARMAN SBU, reporting to HARMAN’s Connected Car division, will work with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) Smart Machines team to develop key technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles. The SSIC Smart Machines team is an advanced automotive engineering group dedicated to enabling next-generation mobility solutions.
“During this period of extraordinary transformation in the automotive industry, we are excited to play a leadership role in supporting and shaping the future of smarter, more connected vehicles,” said Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board of HARMAN. “The Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit and automotive fund reflect the company’s commitment to the values of open innovation and collaboration. In partnership with OEMs and startups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable.”
To address the increasing demand for integrated solutions, particularly those for automated driving, Samsung and HARMAN will focus on engineering, high-performance computing, sensor technologies, algorithms, artificial intelligence, as well as connectivity and cloud solutions that enable Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and automated driving. Samsung’s goal in the automotive market is to tackle this challenge by bringing to market technologies, from sensors to data-processing solutions, that will help make cars safer while creating a more comfortable and convenient mobility experience.
The first strategic investment of the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will be in TTTech, a leader in functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems, and complex software integration for ADAS and automated driving platforms. Earlier investments by Samsung’s existing investment funds have included stakes in automotive startups, including AImotive and Renovo for automated driving; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing.
To date, Samsung has secured licenses for on-road testing of autonomous driving software and hardware under development in Korea and California. Samsung will not enter the car-manufacturing business, remaining focused on working with automakers and mobility enablers to develop the next generation of automotive innovation.